Whether it’s your first hire or your thousandth, the process should be pretty smooth, and it will become more streamlined the more employees you hire. With any hire, you should take these steps to get your business ready for the new employee.
- Do your research.
Rich Deosingh, district president for the Robert Half office in Midtown, New York, suggests researching the local market before even looking at open roles within your company.
“Research who is hiring, what the economic landscape is in your region, and review other job postings,” he said. “It will give you an idea of things like salary and competition in the market – who else is looking for someone with these particular skill sets?”
Once you know that, you can tailor the rest of your hiring process to fit with what others are doing – or go in the other direction, trying your best to stand out so job candidates will be more intrigued by your company than others.
- Get your paperwork in order.
In some cases, this paperwork could be one and done, where you create a template and just plug in the necessary information for each new hire. In other cases, it can be totally automated.
These are some of the forms that new-hire paperwork can include:
W-4: This helps you figure out the correct amount of taxes to withhold from each paycheck.
I-9: This verifies the employment eligibility of the new hire.
Direct deposit form: This gives you an employee’s banking information for easier and faster payment.
Noncompete agreement: This will usually specify an amount of time that the employee is barred from working for, being a consultant for, and conducting other activities for a company that conducts similar business to yours.
Employee handbook: An employee handbook usually lays out the company’s mission, vision, policies, dress code, code of conduct, etc.
Acknowledgment form: The new employee confirms that they have read and understood all the necessary documents.
Consent to drug testing: Some companies require new hires to consent to drug testing prior to employment, and to random drug testing throughout the duration of employment.
Jennifer Walden, director of operations at WikiLawn, said that her company has added a home network security checklist, with a field for the employee to let the company know if they’ll need new hardware to ensure a secure network.
“And we make sure new employees have login info ready to go, as well as contact information for anyone they’ll be working with frequently,” Walden said.
It seems like a lot of paperwork, and it is, but it’s all necessary. The good news is that there are online resources available to make it easier for you or your hiring manager.
“Use an HRIS (human resources information system) like Gusto, ADP or Paycom that provides the HR back-end paperwork to the employee in a self-service mode,” said Laura Handrick, HR professional at Choosing Therapy. “There’s no reason a human should be shuffling paper these days. Online systems with e-signature streamline the paperwork for you, ensuring data is captured accurately, and saving everyone (including the new hire) time.”
No matter what system you use, the key is having it all ready before you start the hiring process.
“All of these items should be prepared beforehand and easily accessible online,” said Deosingh. “Communication before the first day is key – if you need the new hire to provide paperwork or identification, it should be noted ahead of time.”
Matthew Dailly, managing director of Tiger Financial, agreed with Deosingh, and suggested, “Using previous hires as a template, look over all the information gathered from them, and then update or add more important documents that have been implemented since.”
- Outsource if you need to.
Not every small business has an HR department, or even someone on staff who is familiar with HR processes, and that’s OK. It’s better to find someone who can do the job well than to consistently make mistakes in hiring and end up with high turnover or employees who aren’t the right fit.
“For businesses that have an HR department of one, utilizing outsourced resources for recruiting, payroll, benefits administration, etc. can be very helpful to handle the heavy lifting of compliance and reporting requirements for new employees, as well as the current employee base of the company,” said Karen L. Roberts, SHRM-SCP and director or human resources at Flaster Greenberg P.C.
One of the best tips for hiring is to leave it to the professionals. “Don’t delegate hiring to an untrained supervisor,” Handrick said. “Interviewing, and being able to discern talent, is a skill.”
Key takeaway: Don’t just jump into the hiring process. Take the time for some pre-work, like studying the market’s hiring conditions and gathering the proper documents.